The anthropomorphic god Indra is the most revered god in Vedic religion and later became an important deity in Hinduism as well as Jainism. He is the king of heaven and a deity who wields the lightening thunderbolt called Vajra, which he used to kill the evil Vritra as he threatened mankind, and other conditions like rains, river flows and wars. Indra is generally benevolent, generous to the worshipers and guarantees peace and prosperity; he is the one who can always be called upon for support during the times of war.
Residing on the peak of Mount Meru, he is one of the lokpalas or the guardians of directions. This divine son of Kashyapa and Aditi appears many times in Rigveda and was opined as the Godfather of Arjuna, the hero of Mahabharata. The fine and sleek sculpture depicts him as seated in a distinctive posture with the left hand supporting the body bent and right touching the knees; eyes closed in ecstasy of paying obeisance to Buddha; adorned with cosmic jewels and a long shield-like semicircular crown, carved mesmerizingly in floral patterns.
On Indra’s left shoulder, we can see him wielding his powerful Vajra or a Thunderbolt, carved in a unique and alluring structure. Although in the Post-Vedic era he lost much of his prominence because of his ego, drunkenness, hedonism and adulteration on being the god of the heaven, but he is still hailed as the mighty ruler.
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